2016 Qatar World Superbike Notes - And So It Ends

Jonathan Rea confirmed his status as one of the all time WorldSBK riders by claiming back to back crowns on Saturday but in the final race of the season it was Chaz Davies who claimed the spoils.

For Davies was a seventh win in the final eight races of the season and sixth in a row but ultimately the Welshman came up just two points short of Tom Sykes in the fight for second in the standings.

Those final points came courtesy of a gift from Rea to his teammate. On the final lap Rea conceded second to Sykes and as a result the 2013 champion was able to finish ahead of Davies and give Kawasaki their first every one-two in the end of year standings. Given the relationship between Rea and Sykes it came as surprise to some to see Rea make such a gesture but it showed again the close knit nature of the Kawasaki team as a whole.

For Davies it always seemed as if winning races was more important than finishing second in the championship but the Ducati rider had to deal with some difficult circumstances. A red flag midway through the race when Saeed al Sulaiti's engine exploded meant that Davies had to regroup having seen a commanding lead nullified. Starting from pole position Davies was pushed all the way by Rea throughout the opening nine laps of the restarted race but on the final lap he eased off to let Sykes through for a formation finish over the line behind Davies.

It was a fitting end to the season for all three riders. They have dominated the campaign and in Qatar Rea was able to seal the title, Sykes did enough to give Kawasaki a one-two title finish and Davies was able to claim the honors of most race wins in a competitive campaign.

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Was it Rea's decision to slow down, or had the team already 'suggested' it to him?  I don't like when riders affect the chapionship in ways other than riding to their best ability.  Chaz might not seem like he's worried, but it's now written in the history books that he finished third this season rather than second - people will forget the circumstances.